John Andrew Sutherland (born 9 October 1938) is a British academic, newspaper columnist and author. He was born in Norwood, London. His Scottish father, Jack, died in South Africa in 1942. His mother, Liz, then returned to Colchester, Essex, lived in a flat with John and became a police officer. Late in the war, John was evacuated to stay with a paternal aunt and her family in Scotland. He was there for about 18 months before he returned to London and lived with his maternal aunt Ivy while his mother was living in the Argentine with her new partner. Before taking up a place at the University of Leicester in 1960, Sutherland did National Service and on discharge, worked briefly as a labourer.
When he graduated in 1964, Sutherland began his career at the University of Edinburgh where he earned his PhD. After 10 years he moved to University College London (UCL), where he worked for another 10 years. John Sutherland is currently Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London.